Monday, October 16, 2006

The Story of a Chicken

I've said it before and I'll say it again: God made the right decision to bring me into the world in this century. I've said this when faced with using outhouses, traveling in cold weather in my warm car, and now I say it in reference to preparing food.

Let me give some background. I am embarking on once-a-month cooking (OAMC). This is the idea where you organize all your recipes and shop for everything at one time, then devote one LOOOOOOONG day to cooking a bunch of dinners, separating them and freezing them. When a Tuesday night comes around and you have no idea what to make, then out of the freezer comes a prepared meal that only needs to be reheated. I cannot give you my feelings on this phenomenon, because tomorrow will be the first time I try it. Sarah is coming over and we will tag-team between the little ones while we cook 20-some meals.

Ok, back to my original thought. So I bought a whole chicken and threw it in the crock pot for about 10 hours on high. This was recommended to me by Rachel, who first introduced me to the OAMC idea. (She has been doing it for a year). Her predictions were accurate, the meat literally fell off the bones and gave me enough chicken for 3 to 4 casseroles. But, here is the rub. . .

I have never cooked a whole chicken. We have been married 7 years and frozen chicken breasts have been on the market that entire time, so why go through all that? Besides, raw chicken grosses me out. Well, needless to say, I am grossed out. No one warned me that the inside of the chicken is still in tact. I am busy picking hot, cooked chicken off the bone and I see ribs. Yucky, but I can take it. I am an adult now and I know that the white meat I enjoy so much comes from a little bird with feathers and a beak. I've just never had to deal with that end of the food chain. But now, I see the ribs and after a few more pieces of meat fall off, I see something even more disgusting . . . The gizzards. Now I could go into a long rant about why we call them gizzards, when in fact they are kidneys and the heart and lungs (do chickens have lungs?) and all other sorts of disgusting innards, but that would make this a very long post. I'll suffice it to say that not all euphemisms are inappropriate, darn it.

Anyway, Julie tells me that if you let the chicken thaw before you put it into the crock pot, you can scrape out all the "gizzards", but I can't decide if raw gizzards are any less yucky than cooked ones. (Feel free to comment if you have an opinion).

Moving on, after seeing the gizzards and feeling entirely grossed out, I decide right then and there that I am done. I pick off the remaining large pieces of meat and throw the carcass away. Now I am told that if you save the carcass you can make wonderful soup, but Swanson's broth isn't very expensive and it doesn't gross me out at all, so I will do my part to keep them in business.

All of that to say that I still think it was worth it. I got a lot of chicken, flavored better than plain white meat, for only $.49 a pound! The whole chicken was less than $3! Although I will never be able to raise, kill, pluck and cook my own chicken, I guess I will have to get used to disposing of gizzards for the good of the family's budget.


Rachel said...

My opinion, cooked gizzards are less gross than raw ones...less slimy and less of the red stuff too. Happy cooking!

Gretchen said...


My mom had us do that OAMC thing when she was expecting or any time we were about to move. . . so kind of always. What a great effort to tackle it on your own! Are you seeing chicken in your sleep? :)

I am a vegetarian, and I think you are starting to see why. I feel the same way about the white meat as you do the gizzards! AUGH! :)

Sarah said...

God bless you Donette! I CANNOT do it--no matter how much money I save--I just cannot bring myself to touching all of the chicken "parts". It is so repulsive (magnified of course by my fear of fowl).
So God bless as you pick out the gizzards and think of me cooking up my $2/lb. frozen breasts. :-)
P.S. By the way, you are probably correct about the boy name if we have one. Do you mind if we stick with our original plan??? People will think we are copying you. :-)

Hindto said...

Definately Cooked is not nearly as gross as cooked.